As you step into the shoes of another faceless, speechless protagonist and get to grips with the realisation that this is another FPS based off of the same recipe as Call of Duty, you have to wonder what warrants this games £40 price tag. However in saying that, despite a campaign shorter than Call of Duty Black Ops, low resolution visuals and a multiplayer component which is unrefined and full of bugs, I realised that Homefront is actually an ok game.
Featuring a criminally short 7 levels (Ya, rly) the games opening sees you (Jacobs) be forcibly recruited by the Korean Peoples Army to be a pilot for an upcoming operation. Against your will, you get thrown down some stairs and put on a school bus destined for some Korean flight school where they will probably make you take the Wright Brothers plane into battle, because after all, the Koreans are known for their good humour, right? During you short but memorable bus ride towards your new job, you see Koreans kidnap other Americans, slaughter families, and beat some guy with a chain, which is all in good fun. Before you can finish your leisurely bus ride to opportunity, some vile-mouthed douchebag called Connor and his easily suggestible partner Rianna, decide that you are too much of a prized asset for the Koreans, so they crash a truck into your bus and essentially kidnap you. What cunts.
The rest of the story sees you, your new best friends, and their happy band of resistance fighters which features a Korean with a cut face called ‘Hopper’, who says that he was born in America but looks like a liar (More on that later), a former cop called Boone who plays the role of ‘the black guy’, a few others who live at the resistances’ HQ including a guy who milks goats, and finally, a giant robot called Goliath which hungers for the blood of its former Korean masters.
The games plot is all too overblown, yet ever so slightly comprehendible to the doomsday scenario fantasist within us all. Korea has unified into a single nation, also aligning with the likes of Japan and China (See my Homefront book review for more than this, or don’t and pretend you know what the fuck I’m on about). Korea then capitalise on a dwindling US army and collapsed US economy by invading the fuck out of them, taking over San Francisco, irradiating the Mississippi River, and generally making the US a better place for all. The selfish resistance decide that the highly intelligent Koreans and their benevolent leader, Kim Jong Un, are wrong, and decide to fight back, with an ‘America, fuck yeah!’ mentality, without realising that the Koreans are fucking badass and have all of the weapons. Silly Americans!
Homefronts campaign is, sadly, nothing new. In each individual level, you are treated to a stunning individual moment or two, but other than that, each level just plays out rather uneventful like. Some of the fantastic, overblown moments in the game include Hopper (Who is obviously pissed off that he didn’t move back to Korea and become apart of the invasion from their side) ‘accidentally’ shooting flaming Phosphorous at yourself and Rianna before apologizing through gritted teeth, and the final level, which is like one big Michael Bay film rolled into a 20 minute segment, starting with a great scene of you, the resistance remnants of the US army engaging on a huge battle on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Besides these moments which make the campaign stand out of a over saturated FPS market, there is little to nothing else which would warrant that you purchase this game (Campaign-wise) over, let’s say, Black Ops, which is a shame.
The interaction between characters is generally dull, the game play is clunky and unrefined, the NPC’s are fucking idiots who sometimes decide to finish their half an hour long conversation about how shit their lives are before opening a door to the next section of the level, which is a complete joke. Can the multiplayer save this game from the bargain bin? No. But can it prolong its fall into the bargain bin? Sure, why not.
The words ’32 player online’ printed on the back of the games cover, gives this game an immediate leg up over competitors such has Halo, Battlefield and Call of Duty, in that none of them has an online player allowance greater than this. Even so, in the days shortly after release, this game is a lag fest and near enough unplayable. This game suffers from the same type of post release shivers that Test Drive 2 did, in that it has shivered so much, it has broken down and died. When it works though, online is actually, good fun.
Taking influence from the Call of Duty formula which has seeped into many other FPS games on the market like some sick urinary infection, Homefront has perks, weapons, ‘create a class’ slots and miniature robots which you can buy using an in game currency. This detail gives Homefront a spark of individuality amongst other online FPS games, but it isn’t enough to send it into the upper echelon of FPS games we see so often, such as Battlefield and Call of Duty.
Online also lacks a variety of game modes, featuring only two when you disregard the variants, Ground Control and Deathmatch. It features a small amount of weapons and maps, but makes up for it with some great options for class and weapon customization. In my opinion, when it works, the multiplayer is good enough for you to warrant a purchase, but maybe give it a month until the servers calm down.
Homefront is a decent game. Sure, it doesn’t have the visual clarity of Call of Duty, the sound of Battlefield, or the fun factor of Halo, but it does have some great Campaign moments, a competent multiplayer component which features a dash of creativity and a really good musical score. Avoid if you are buying solely for the campaign, buy if you liked the book.
- Campaign ‘moments’
- Online currency
- Campaign length
- Campaign dialogue
- Server issues
- Too much reliance on ‘CoD formula’.